Celebrate The Marriage Ring and Win Fragments Jewelry

Book CoverI think I have to state right off that I’m not being compensated for this event in any way AND HOLY HELL do I wish I were! Also, that my husband isn’t eligible to enter even though he totally wants to.


Hope you’re sitting down.

In order to highlight the release of Cathy Maxwell’s new book, The Marriage Ring and the role jewelry plays in the novel, Avon books is giving away a $1500.00 gift certificate to Fragments, an online jewelry store.

Yeah, you read that right. $1500.00 US.

In The Marriage Ring, the heroine has an emotional attachment to a ring during the course of the story, and Maxwell highlights the significance of her own pieces of jewelry in this video about the book:

The poignant part is at the beginning, and then at 2:25. Have a tissue handy.

I love how she talks about the significance of jewelry for men, too.

The contest will run from today, 22 February, through Friday 26 February. That’s long for a typical contest here, but it’s a big prize, too.

Comments will close midnight on 26 February, and a winner will be chosen at random from among the contest.

The winner will be announced Monday 1 March at 11:00 am EST right here.

Contest is open to entries from the US and Canada only (I’m sorry).

The prize of a $1500 gift certificate to Fragments jewelry is bring provided by Avon books.

I am not being compensated to run this promotion, much as I wish I were decked out in sparkly things. Additional disclaimers: Lather, rinse, repeat. Accept no substitutes. Call toll free before digging. Variations in shading within garment may occur. Not the actual Beatles. This presentation has been modified from the original version to fit your screen.
Keep cool; process promptly.

Enough boring details – let’s have fun!

So, how do you enter this big honking giveaway? Leave a comment and tell us about the piece of jewelry that is the most significant to you. Where did it come from, why is it meaningful, and why is it worth more to you than its relative cost? Even though I’m not eligible: my wedding ring is probably my most significant piece of jewelry. It’s a plain gold band, very beat up and notched after 10 years of wearing, but inside Hubby’s are the words “i carry your heart,” and inside mine it says, “i carry it in my heart.” We read that poem as part of our vows when we were married, and I carry the words on my finger that folks used to believe led right to the heart.

What about you? Share, and you’re entered to win.


Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Grace says:

    For me, it’s gotta be a double-strand necklace of irregular freshwater pearls from my maternal grandmother.  Every time I wear it I think of her, thousands of miles away in Taiwan, and how she saved to buy it for a granddaughter whom she sees only every four years or longer.  Once I thought I lost the necklace – only to find it among my younger sister’s jewelry.  She had borrowed it from me because it, too, reminded her of our grandmother.

  2. 2
    Lissanne says:

    I don’t live in the US, but I will be there for six weeks this summer, so if that makes me eligible, great! If not, I’d like to share anyway…

    I have two pieces of jewellry that mean the world to me: the Russian wedding ring (three different colour gold bands linked) my parents bought me many years ago, and my grandmother’s wedding ring that I inherited when she died; she had two wedding rings – one my grandfather gave her when they first started dating, and the one he gave her when they legally married. We buried her with the former, and I kept the latter.

  3. 3
    ijinx says:

    It’s a plain little silver ring with a dragon, of all things. My bf got it for me in Dharamsala along with an Immodium to help me get over my stomach maladies and overall travel blues and homesickness. It worked, too.

  4. 4
    Kim says:

    Thanks, Avon, for the contest!

    Cathy’s a gem herself … but I’ll throw my name in the hat for jewelry.  My most treasured pieces of jewelry are the engagement ring and wedding band that originally belonged to my husband’s maternal grandmother.  Both are white gold with several diamonds in a traditional setting from the 1930s.  The wedding ring is engraved with his grandmother’s wedding date, which I think is quaint, because I know our love is timeless (I will ask Mother-in-law to read this post for brownie points).

    My second most treasured piece of jewelry is a recent gift from another romance reader.  I met Mary in line at the RT Book Fair in 2006 and we have traded emails since then.  For Christmas, she made a bracelet from her Grandmother’s collection of buttons, including one from her Grandfather’s WWI uniform.  I enjoy wearing it to military functions as I receive many compliments for the design and the story.   

    Back to Cathy, congrats on another fabulous story about love and life!

  5. 5
    Jenna says:

    My grandmother’s engagement and wedding rings. I lost most other significant family jewelry in a break in, so I’m especially attached to these now—luckily they were in my parents’ safe at the time.

  6. 6

    When I was 8 years old, my Grandfather made a woven leather bracelet for me.  I wore the bracelet every day, and 20 years later, I still wear it.  This piece is so special because there are none like it – it was made by the man who raised me.  He passed away in 2000, but I carry him with me in my heart and on my wrist.

    Fragments has some amazing Chan Luu bracelets that will look great next to my Grandfather’s one!

  7. 7
    Sherri says:

    My grandmother’s ring. It was given to her by her godparents and she wore it her entire adult life. I’ve never worn it as it’s molded to her finger shape and I just couldn’t bear having it refitted.  It’s not fancy and a bit tarnished but it’s priceless & beautiful just because it was hers.

  8. 8
    cories says:

    A ring with the initial “S” in small diamonds.  This was given to me by my mother when I was young.  What makes it meaningful to me is that I had my jewelry box stolen years ago and the ring was all I had left of the jewelry from my parents and other family members.

  9. 9
    Ana says:

    Canada and US only! Totally not fair!
    Anyway, I’ll leave a comment just as well:
    it’s not really mine, but i always loved the story, because my father had this ring, with his name on it, and something written on the inside that my mother had given him. One day, when they were walking on the beach, the ring fell down onto the shore, a wave came and the ring disappeared. Since, everytime we stop in front of a jewelry store, my father would say to my mother: “those rings are nice, but not as nice as the one you gave me, the one that disappeared on the sea, do you remember?”

  10. 10

    I’ve been blessed to be the recipient of several items of family jewelry. I have my great grandmother’s and my grandmother’s engagement rings and a double strand of cut crystals that belonged to my great-grandmother and every time I open the cardboard box she kept them in, I get a whiff of her perfume.

    But probably the most meaningful piece of jewelry I own came from my late MIL. It was her engagement ring from her second husband, and it’s a large uncut amethyst that was made for her by a little old Italian jeweler in Cleveland, OH (who also made my own wedding band) She wore the ring every day of her marriage and she gave it to me the last time I saw her as she was dying. If anything ever happened to that ring, it would break my heart.

  11. 11
    Moth says:

    My dad used to make jewelry as one of his hobbies. When my mom was pregnant with me her finger got too big for her to wear her wedding ring, and there was still a stigma attached to unwed mothers in those days. My mom didn’t want to walk around hugely pregnant without a ring. So my dad made her another wedding ring to wear. It’s really beautiful, a thin band of braided gold, and my dad made it with his own two hands.

    My dad passed away when I was little so all of the jewelry he made is really special, but the wedding ring is hands down my favorite piece of his. And last year my mom gave it to me to keep.

    spamword: increase48
    Well, my mom certainly was increasing at the time. Now you mention it. :)

  12. 12
    Lindz says:

    Mine is a small gold cross that originally belonged to my Great-Great Aunt.  She passed away before I was born, but it is a comforting reminder of my family and family history.  That is a big thing, especially since I now live on the other side of the US from them and only get to see them about once or twice a year.

  13. 13
    Kate says:

    I have two…I really can’t say that one is more important to me than the other, so I’ll share both.

    The first is my engagement ring—my husband never really proposed to me, we just talked about it together and decided that we were ready, so I didn’t have a ring to start with (and I thought at first that I would be happy without one). I was living with my grandmother at the time, and one night it hit me that it really did bother me not to have a ring or anything to show that I was engaged…silly, yes, and I felt ridiculous on top of feeling miserable about it. I went to bed still unhappy, with no idea what I was going to do about it.

    Anyway, Grandma had no idea (I didn’t say anything about it), but the next morning as I was getting my breakfast ready she came into the kitchen with a little box and told me that she had something for me… it was a ring that had belonged to her mother, and she wanted me to have it to wear for my engagement ring. I loved it on sight and it fit perfectly, and it was exactly what I most wanted in a ring (white gold, and an emerald—my husband’s eyes are green). I think my great-grandmother was keeping an eye on me that night, and somehow let Grandma know just what I needed. I treasure it as a gift from them both. :)

    The second is my wedding band, and I suppose the story is kind of similar—its appearance was just as unexpected! Due to a general lack of organization on both our parts, we hadn’t made time to go and look for rings together, and the day of the wedding arrived without a decision having been reached. I was a little sad, but I had my great-grandmother’s ring, so I knew I’d be fine. We were married in a small, private ceremony, and I couldn’t have been happier—until we were told that it was time to exchange rings. My heart sank and I wanted to melt through the floor in embarrassment: no one had told the officiant that we didn’t have rings to exchange. And then I saw my husband reach into his pocket and pull out two small boxes… it took me a good half hour before I stopped crying, I was so surprised and happy.

    Apparently, after we’d had dinner with both sets of parents the night before, and before he went off to hang out with the guys, his mother had taken him off to buy the rings. Of course they didn’t fit, that had to wait until after the honeymoon, but I was so touched that he was able to pick out something I liked so much*, and that his mother had thought to make sure everything was taken care of—no matter how stressed out my mother in law makes me sometimes, I always remember that she really does have her heart in the right place.

    *I was also briefly furious that he’d let me sit there all embarrassed thinking we had no rings, but it wasn’t really his fault, so I let it go pretty quickly.

  14. 14
    Ariella says:

    I think the most significant piece(s) of jewelry I own are some marcasite pins made by my maternal greatgrandfather.  My maternal greatgrandfather was a jeweler by trade and worked more specifically as a diamond cutter in the early 1900s.  He was a very artistic man, and he also made his own jewelry.  The pins I own are small pins of animals (a deer, a turtle, a beetle) that he made by hand, set the marcasites by hand, and then enameled by hand.  All were made for his wife, my maternal greatgrandmother. 

    They aren’t very valuable in the sense of dollars and cents, but they remind me of my family’s history and of my greatgrandfather’s love for my greatgrandmother.  They lost most of their money during the Great Depression, but these pins survived.  I’m so happy to have them.

  15. 15
    Ariella says:

    I meant to note in my earlier comment that the pins also survived the Holocaust, and that my grandparents came over to the US with them after being liberated from Bergen-Belsen.

  16. 16
    Dana Bowie says:

    For me, it’s a claddaugh ring I wear on my right ring finger. It’s the most special thing to me because it is the very first thing my husband (then boyfriend) bought for me.

    It’s not an expensive ring, it came from one of those mall novelty stores (Spencers).

    We hadn’t been dating long, and one Saturday afternoon, we went to the Mall, like a lot of young couples do. Not for anything in particular, just to go through the stores, looking around. We were in Spencers, looking through their jewelry cabinets near the front, when I saw the ring. It’s very plain, just gold, with the heart done in rose gold. I thought it was pretty, and I just mention that ” Ohh, that’s pretty!” That’s it, not I want it, buy it for me, or anything to that effect.

    Anyway, the next time we saw each other, he came to pick me up, and we were going down the road, and he just pulled it out and gave it to me. I was floored, as I said, we hadn’t been together that long, but it was so sweet.

    Now, 16 years later,  I still wear it everywhere, it’s the one piece of jewelry that I never take off. Well, except when I’m making meatloaf.

  17. 17
    Mama Nice says:

    I’d have to say my wedding ring as well – he picked it out himself with zero help from me – in fact, I had no idea he what he was planning! The engagement ring burned a hole in his pocket on our drive from Chicago to New Orleans (Ior more like burning a hole in his stomach – I thought he was seriously ill from the way he was acting) – and I was still clueless up til the moment he got down on bended knee in our little hotel room in the Garden District. It was New Year’s Eve 1999 – and he had wanted to wait until the ball dropped, but he was in agony carrying that thing around – and just wanted to get it on my finger! I’m so glad he did – we had a wonderful time celebrating 2000…and now, a bit over 10 years later, 2 little red head girls and miles of love, laughs, tiffs and compromise – we are hoping to get back down to New Orleans and toast the next 10 years. I LOVE that he picked it out himself – and have never been able to understand why some girls insist on showing their guy which ring he should buy.

  18. 18
    Mama Nice says:

    Not trying for two chances to win here – but the one piece of jewelry that I love, that is not my own personally, is a necklace of my late grandmother’s. The charm is heart shaped with a ruby – and engraved are the words “I love you as long as I live, I live as long as I love you.”

    The same words are on their headstone – they died more than 20 years apart – Poppy went first – but even after he was gone, Nanny wore that necklace often and the words were very true each and every day of those 20+ years. And, this isn’t morbid, they are together now and the words are still true.

  19. 19
    Ruth says:

    Well, I certainly love my engagement and wedding bands, but the piece that means the most to me is a necklace that my husband had made for me 6 1/2 years ago.

    My husband is in the military and when I was 9 months pregnant with our first child, he deployed to Iraq. Our daughter was born March 19, 2003, the day US forces began their assault. By July, my husband and his men were on a (very slow) ship back to the US. After stopping in Australia, they headed to Hawaii. With the help of two of his company mates, I arranged to take a surprise trip to Pearl Harbor to meet him. I surprised him on the flight deck of the USS Bonhomme Richard with our daughter. We only had a few days there before the ship continued on to our base in California, but during that time, we did one of those cheesy “open an oyster, get a pearl”  things. To my surprise, an absolutely gorgeous silver pearl popped out of the one we chose. My husband had it turned into a pendant for me to wear and for us to give to our daughter when she turns 16 to commemorate the day my husband first met her.

  20. 20
    Heather says:

    My bf bought me some pearl earrings for my birthday this year.  I don’t wear jewelry often, but I mentioned a few weeks before my birthday that I really like pearls.  I didn’t expect him to follow up on that and surprise me!

  21. 21
    MRM says:

    I was just talking with my co-workers about this piece of jewelry lately, trying to decide what I can do with it:

    My grandmother gave me a ring when I was six or seven years old. It was silver and shaped like a vine with grape leaves, with a tiny sapphire nestled in the front (that was my birthstone).  I’m sure it wasn’t expensive, but she told me it was real silver and a real sapphire so I felt like it was “adult” jewelry and it was one of my most loved treasures when I was little.  I did end up wearing it even into high school, when it only fit onto my pinky finger.

    Sometime when I was ten or eleven years old, I dropped it and the sapphire moved out of alignment in its setting.  It never fell out, but I used to worry about that happening. 

    Now that it’s been well over ten years since I’ve worn this ring, I wonder if there’s a way I could turn it into something else like a necklace I could wear or give to my partner.  Even if I never wear this ring again, I’m sure I’ll hold onto it because it’s such a close link with my grandmother.

  22. 22
    Danielle says:

    Sorry if this is a duplicate post—I thought I hit enter!

    I would have to say my mother’s wedding ring—it’s a gold band with 4 little diamonds in it.  I lost my mother when I was 18 and this is my way of keeping her close in my heart.

  23. 23
    Virginia Hendricks says:

    My most significant piece of jewlery is my engagement ring.  Its not your traditional engagement ring.  When my husband and I first started in a relationship, it was God centered.  So he bought me an engagement ring that has a cross on it, with a tiny diamond in the center of the cross.  I can’t wear it on my left hand with my wedding band, but I wear it on my right hand.  I rarely leave home without it.  He bought me a diamond ring as a wedding present, but to me it wasn’t as significant as my engagement ring.

  24. 24
    Eileen says:

    For me it would be two rings that I don’t actually have anymore.  My original wedding ring and engagement ring which were stolen from our home during a robbery.  I picked out both and just loved them.  Within the first year of owing our house, it was robbed and my rings were taken.

    My husband has since bought me new rings which are more expensive than the originals and I love them, but they can’t replace my originals.  I feel so sad whenever I think of it.  How could someone do that?

  25. 25
    Lauren says:

    Like many others, I have two very significant rings. The first is my wedding band, which doubled as my engagement ring. When my husband and I were talking about marriage, I told him I didn’t really like the color gold, but loved silver, and he pointed out that silver tarnished. I was a tad crestfallen. He, being a very technical man, did some research, and surprised me on my birthday with a white gold band. I didn’t take it off until over a year later, when I had to hand it to my soon-to-be brother-in-law to hold during the wedding (I may have threatened to eviscerate my future sibling if he lost it—he did not).

    The other ring was one my father got me as a graduation gift. That he had purchased jewelry for me at all was something of a surprise, that it was a replica of the ring Galadriel wore in the Lord of the Rings movies (Nenya was its name in the books, if I recall correctly) was a delight. I’m fairly certain he got it from Skymall or some other catalog he found who-knows-where. Normally my father and I have some difficulty in shopping for each other, so this was especially memorable for me.

  26. 26
    Kelly-Anne says:

    Like most women, I own many pieces of jewelry, and many of those pieces are special because they were gifts.

    I think one of my most precious pieces is certainly one of the cheapest on the market: a faux pearl necklace. I bought this necklace years ago, when I was young, as a gift for my grandmother one Christmas. It wasn’t much, but it was something, a gesture, and although I don’t even know if my grandmother ever wore them, she kept them all the same.

    They were returned to me when she died; it’s one of the very few tangible pieces I have of her. This necklace is a physical reminder for me that it’s not the value of the gift that’s important, but the love that comes with it; and that, even though my grandmother is gone, a part of her remains alive in me and in my children.

  27. 27
    Cara Elliott says:

    Thanks for so many wonderful books, Cathy. I’ve a ring “love story” too.

    I was an only daughter, so my mom and I had a special bond, and a shared love of art and books brought us even closer together. As a child, I was already captivated by historical stories, and loved reading about knights in armor. So it’s no wonder that from an early age, I was fascinated by her beautiful gold signet ring. Engraved with her family’s crest, it had been a gift from her father on her eighteenth birthday. I loved that ring . . . and she used to smile at me and say, “Someday it will be yours.” Over the years, there were various birthdays where we planned to have one made for me, but somehow we never got around to it.

    It’s been nearly two years since my mom passed away, and that ring is one of my treasured mementos. It sat in my jewelry box for a long time, a bit too small to fit on my finger. Then, this past summer I finally decided to have it re-sized so that I could wear it. I chose to take it to a small shop in New Haven a bit of a drive for me, because I remembered my mother telling me that the proprietor was a artisan goldsmith who had done a lovely alteration on one of her other rings. I didn’t want to trust my heirloom to just anyone, so off I went.

    Derek was there that afternoon, and he listened patiently as I explained its sentimental value and asked him to take great care with it. He looked it over for a moment, and his brow rose a notch. “I remember your mother,” he said. A pause. “She got very mad at me.”

    I blinked.

    “Yes,” he went on. “She commissioned me to make a ring similar to one she had bought in Turkey. She brought me detailed sketches, and I made a prototype. But then I lost it.” Another pause. “She was not pleased.”

    Now, mother did have a strong personality. And if you said you were going to do something, she took you to task if you didn’t come through.

    “So she ended up canceling the order,” he finished.

    I smiled. “Well, let’s let bygones be bygones. She thought you were a wonderful craftsman.”

    A funny expression crept over his face. “Wait here for a moment,” he said, and then disappeared into the back of his shop. Sounds of rustling and rummaging floated out from behind the half-closed door. Several minutes later he remerged and opened his hand to reveal a wink of silver. “I found this the other day—it’s the ring your mother designed.”

    Staring down at his palm, I blinked again.

    “It’s not finished yet,”  he murmured. “But if you want, I can go ahead . . .”

    So now I have two rings that connect me with my mother—one old, one new. And they will always have a special place in my heart.

  28. 28
    amanda m. says:

    When I was 16, my mother gave me a necklace that my father has commissioned for her before I was born.  It was two horses rearing up against a center post. a snake twined around the post facing up and the snake’s tail formed a tear drop that held a one carat white opal.
    The significance to me was that there was a time when they loved each other, when they had passion and respect and they were together.  They divorced when I was 7 and my mother moved us 3000 miles away, so wearing the piece made me feel as though I was carrying a bit of my father’s love with me where ever I went.  When I was 25, my car was broken into and my overnight bag stolen and that necklace was in it.  I went to pawn shops for weeks and weeks after, combing Philadelphia, searching for it, I felt like I was searching for my father’s love.  I never found it and to this day, I feel its loss.

  29. 29
    Diatryma says:

    When I was little, I wore ‘diamond rings’—fake diamond, adjustable band, turns your finger green and copper-tasting.  I went through three of them, I think, and then when I was in second or third grade (maybe) Mom, on a trip to Chicago, bought me a real ring.  Gold, with a little gray heart and a chip of something so small I didn’t know it was there at first.  It’s my baby ring, and I wore it until I discovered it came off one night in eighth grade.  I didn’t put it back on then because I figured it was better not to have to cut it off later.  I don’ know where it is now, but I’m sure it will turn up.

    My parents also bought me a gorgeous opal ring for my eighteenth birthday.  I hardly ever wear it because I’m terrified of wrecking the opal, but I know which finger it goes on (left middle) and which way it goes (the cloudy V-shaped bit opens out).  We joke that it’s partly to make sure that anyone who buys me jewelry buys me the good stuff; they have to meet or exceed the standard set by this ring.

  30. 30
    alia says:

    I have a tiny diamond on a gold chain. It was the first Christmas my now-husband and I were together. He knew the story about how much I had desperately wanted a puppy for Christmas when I was a kid, and how my parents thought it would be funny to drop little hints that suggested there was one under the tree for me… and then how incredibly hurt and disappointed I was when it was a plush toy and not a live breathing puppy. He handed me this present eagerly, and when I opened it it was a small plush dog. I almost burst into tears in front of his folks, because I couldn’t figure out why he was being so insensitive, and he said, “No, look at it”… around the dog’s neck, instead of the ribbon it came with, he had strung the diamond. He said he specifically wanted to turn that sad memory into a happy one. It worked ridiculously well, and we’ll be married ten years this April.

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